Turner Microphones Circa 1962

Download the entire circa-1962 Turner Microphone Catalog. Dig the crazy Soviet-esque graphic-design.  Printed on that great old eggshell-texture paper, no less.

DOWNLOAD: Turner_Microphones_1962

The Turner Microphone Company was based for many years in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.  What and interesting story they had.  The Turners were a highly successful family of morticians.  Their funeral home was so large and accommodated so many mourners that in the mid-20’s they became interested in installing an early PA system.  This lead to DIY manufacture of PA systems, and eventually microphones.  By the Mid-60s, Turner had become one of the world’s leading manufacturers of communications and PA (as opposed to recording and broadcast) mics.

Turner did manufacture some high-end mics for professional audio applications, though.  I own a model 510, and it’s not terrible.  The grey-blue finish is really stunning.  When I get around to it… I hope to do a listening test of the 510 next to some period competitors (EG, Shure SM-56 and an EV 666). 510s are hard to find.  The example that I own is the only one that I have ever seen in the flesh.

Much more common are the Turner U9s and its several variants.  See this link for a listening test I did with a U99 earlier this year.   When Turner describes this mic as rugged, they are not kidding. I own three of these; they are around 50-60 years old, and they all work perfectly.  And they get used in the studio for ‘certain’ sounds.

Turner 250 series mics are also commonly found today.  They made and sold a shit ton of these for use in PA and paging systems.  I like the sound of these mics as a close-mic for raw-sounding rock vocals, along with a good condenser mic a few feet off of the performer for some depth.  Blend em and voila.  Lots of grit without the typical ‘Strokes-mic’ vibe.

You will also see a lot of these little plastic Turners around.  I have not found a good use for mine.

I am not sure that this is an effective way to mic up a rock band, but like I said, Turner Microphones were not considered studio-standard.

3 thoughts on “Turner Microphones Circa 1962”

  1. In i961 thru 1966 Turner produced a special order mic for the Hallicrafters Co. This mic was produced specificaly for the SR series HF transceivers. All I have been able to find out about it is a few specs and a guess or two. It is a dynamic mic Z is 500 ohms. The output into a 100k load was -52.5db (0 db=1 volt per microbar). The case was the dark 350 case. The guts were those of a SR90D-5. I am looking for any information on this mic in particular any copies of correspondance between Turner and Hallicrafters and spec sheets.

    73, Walt WD0GOF

  2. Hello,
    I just became curious about a Turner microphone element labeled “model 13C” when I saw it on eBay. It looks much like a couple defunct ones I have that are (on the elements themselves) labeled BO1140, but I don’t see this on the pictures of the element and much of what *is* shown is simply gasket.

    The eBay listing is titled:
    “N.O.S. N.I.B. Turner Model 13 Microphone “Interior” Magnetic Cartridge Element” if you want a squint at it. It is priced at $145, but ships free. It is somewhat unique in that it is still in the original box.

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